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Blueberry Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing

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Dinner, Lunch, Recipes

Get ready to savor the Blueberry Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing, a dish that combines the sweetness of blueberries, the crunch of walnuts, the tanginess of feta cheese, the crispness of spinach, and the mild bite of red onion. This salad is a true celebration of summer and will keep you feeling light, satisfied, and cool all season long.

In this recipe, we take succulent grilled chicken and pair it with a bed of vibrant spinach leaves, creating a base that is packed with vitamins and minerals. But it's the addition of juicy blueberries that truly makes this salad shine, infusing it with a burst of sweetness and a burst of antioxidants. As you savor each bite, the earthy walnuts provide a delightful crunch and the feta cheese adds a creamy and tangy element that perfectly complements the other ingredients.

To tie all the flavors together, we've crafted a velvety creamy balsamic dressing that coats every ingredient with its richness. This dressing not only adds a luscious texture but also brings a harmonious balance of sweet and tangy flavors to the salad. With its vibrant colors, refreshing taste, and wholesome ingredients, the Blueberry Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing is the ultimate summer dish that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized on even the hottest of days!


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3 Reasons Why You Will Love This Recipe

  1. Burst of Flavors: This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors that will surely tantalize your taste buds. The sweetness of the blueberries provides a refreshing contrast to the savory grilled chicken, while the tangy feta cheese adds a creamy and zesty note. The mild bite of the red onion adds a hint of pungency, and the crunch of the walnuts brings a satisfying texture to every bite. 
  2. Nutritious and Refreshing: With a base of fresh spinach leaves, this salad is not only packed with essential vitamins and minerals but also offers a refreshing and light eating experience. The blueberries provide a boost of antioxidants, walnuts offer healthy fats, and the grilled chicken serves as a lean protein source. Combined with the hydrating properties of spinach and the crispness of red onion, this salad is a nutritious choice that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized, making it an excellent option for summer dining.
  3. Creamy Balsamic Dressing: The creamy balsamic dressing takes this recipe to a whole new level. Its velvety texture coats every ingredient, ensuring that each bite is infused with its rich, tangy flavors. This dressing enhances the overall taste of the salad, bringing all the ingredients together in perfect harmony. Whether you're a fan of creamy dressings or simply looking to add an extra layer of flavor to your salad, the creamy balsamic dressing in this recipe is sure to impress.

Ingredients

  • Balsamic vinegar: This tangy and slightly sweet vinegar adds depth and flavor to the creamy balsamic dressing, elevating the taste of the entire salad.
  • Olive oil: The olive oil contributes a smooth and rich texture to the dressing, while also providing a healthy dose of fats.
  • Greek yogurt: The Greek yogurt adds creaminess and a slight tang to the dressing, creating a luscious texture that coats the salad ingredients perfectly.
  • Dijon mustard: This ingredient adds a sharp and tangy flavor to the dressing, enhancing its overall taste profile.
  • Honey: The honey adds a touch of natural sweetness to balance out the tanginess of the vinegar and mustard, creating a well-rounded flavor.
  • Garlic powder: This aromatic spice adds a subtle garlic flavor to the dressing, complementing the other ingredients in the salad.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of all the ingredients and helps to bring out their natural taste.
  • Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper adds a hint of spiciness and complexity to the dressing, creating a well-rounded flavor profile.
  • Spinach: The tender baby spinach leaves serve as the base of the salad, offering a fresh and vibrant backdrop for the other ingredients.
  • Red onion: The red onion adds a mild bite and a pop of color to the salad, providing a contrasting flavor and texture.
  • Feta cheese: The tangy and creamy feta cheese crumbles add a rich and savory element to the salad, enhancing its overall taste and texture.
  • Walnuts: These crunchy nuts provide a satisfying texture and a nutty flavor that compliments the other ingredients in the salad.
  • Grilled chicken: The succulent and smoky grilled chicken serves as the protein source for the salad, adding a savory and hearty element to make it a complete meal.

Kitchen Tools Required

  • Mixing bowl or mason jar 
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Salad serving bowl or plate
  • Salad tongs or fork

How to Make Blueberry Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing 

  1. In a mixing bowl or mason jar, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to make the creamy balsamic dressing. Set aside.
  2. In a salad serving bowl or plate, layer the baby spinach. Top with thinly sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, fresh blueberries, chopped walnuts, and sliced grilled chicken.
  3. Drizzle the creamy balsamic dressing over the salad according to your preference. Alternatively, you can serve the dressing on the side.
  4. Gently toss the salad ingredients together, ensuring they are evenly coated with the dressing.
  5. Serve the Blueberry Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad immediately and enjoy!

Swaps or Alternatives

Here are some alternatives or swaps you can make based on dietary needs and preferences for the Blueberry Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing:

  • Vegetarian/Vegan Option: If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan version, you can omit the grilled chicken and replace it with grilled tofu or tempeh as a plant-based protein alternative. Swap the nonfat plain Greek yogurt with a plant-based yogurt alternative like non-dairy plain Greek-style yogurt or cashew yogurt.
  • Dairy-Free Option: For a dairy-free version, skip the feta cheese or substitute it with dairy-free alternatives such as vegan feta cheese or crumbled tofu. Replace the nonfat plain Greek yogurt with a dairy-free yogurt alternative like coconut milk yogurt or almond milk yogurt.
  • Nut-Free Option: If you have a nut allergy or prefer to avoid nuts, substitute the chopped walnuts with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or toasted sesame seeds for a different crunchy texture. If there are no nut allergies but you prefer a different nut, you can replace the walnuts with almonds, pecans, or cashews.

Quick Tip(s)

Here are three quick tips to ensure a successful preparation of the salad:

  • Utilize pre-cooked chicken breast: To save time, use store bought, pre-cooked chicken breast as a convenient time-saving option. Simply slice the grilled chicken and incorporate it into the salad as directed.
  • Prepare the Toppings Ahead of Time: To save time and streamline your salad preparation, consider prepping the toppings in advance. This way, when it's time to put the salad together, you'll have all the components readily available, making the process quicker and more efficient. 
  • Dress the Salad Just Before Serving: To keep the salad fresh and crisp, dress it with the creamy balsamic dressing just before serving. Drizzle the desired amount over the salad ingredients and gently toss to coat evenly. This helps prevent the spinach leaves from wilting and ensures a vibrant presentation.

FAQ’s

Here are some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for the Blueberry Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing:

Can I make the creamy balsamic dressing ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dressing ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is recommended to consume it within 3-4 days. Give it a good whisk or shake before using to ensure proper consistency.

Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh ones?

While fresh blueberries are preferred for their texture and flavor, you can use frozen blueberries as well. Thaw them before adding them to the salad to avoid excess moisture.

Can I substitute the spinach with a different type of greens?

Yes, you can customize the salad by using your preferred greens. Arugula, mixed greens, or even kale can be used as alternatives to spinach. Adjust the amount and texture according to your preference.

Can I make this salad without onions?

Yes, if you're not a fan of onions or have an allergy or sensitivity to them, feel free to omit the red onions from the recipe. You can replace them with thinly sliced shallots or leave them out entirely.

How can I add more protein to the salad?

If you're looking to boost the protein content, you can add additional sources such as chickpeas, quinoa, or grilled shrimp alongside or in place of the grilled chicken. These options can provide extra texture and flavor to the salad.

Can I adjust the sweetness or tanginess of the dressing?

Absolutely! The sweetness and tanginess of the dressing can be adjusted to your personal preference. If you prefer a sweeter dressing, increase the amount of honey. For a more tangy flavor, add a splash of extra balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice.

Blueberry Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Jessie Hulsey
This vibrant salad combines the sweetness of blueberries, the savory goodness of grilled chicken, and the refreshing crunch of spinach. Topped with a creamy balsamic dressing, this salad is a perfect balance of flavors and textures, making it a must-try for the summertime!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 270 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl or mason jar
  • whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Salad serving bowl or plate
  • Salad tongs or fork

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 12 oz. grilled chicken, sliced

Instructions
 

  • In a mixing bowl or mason jar, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to make the creamy balsamic dressing. Set aside.
  • In a salad serving bowl or plate, layer the baby spinach. Top with thinly sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, fresh blueberries, chopped walnuts, and sliced grilled chicken.
  • Drizzle the creamy balsamic dressing over the salad according to your preference. Alternatively, you can serve the dressing on the side.
  • Gently toss the salad ingredients together, ensuring they are evenly coated with the dressing.
  • Serve the Blueberry Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can prepare the creamy balsamic dressing in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The toppings, such as sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and chopped walnuts, can also be prepped ahead of time to save assembly time when you're ready to serve the salad.
  • Nutrition information may vary depending on brands and ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 10.9gProtein: 21.8gFat: 16.5g
Keyword high protein, macro friendly
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